Sound recordings: 2 sound tape reels (45 min.) ; 5 in.
Transcript: 20 p.
Format: An interview of Christine J. Abel (06/05/65) conducted by B. Hoag is also on one tape.
An interview of Douglas Parshall (06/04/65) conducted by B. Hoag is also on one tape.
Collection Summary: An interview of Campbell Grant conducted 1965 June 4, by Betty Hoag, for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project.
Grant speaks of his background and education in California; joining the Federal Art Prject (FAP); doing watercolor painting and murals for the FAP in Santa Barbara; and his post-FAP career.
Biographical/Historical Note: Campbell Grant (1909-) is a painter and mural painter in California.
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
How to Use this Interview
- A transcript of this interview appears below.
- The transcript of this interview is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Campbell Grant, 1965 June 4, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
- For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.
Make a RequestReading Room Reproduction
This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Campbell Grant, 1965 June 4, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW WITH CAMPBELL GRANT
JUNE 4, 1965
INTERVIEWER: BETTY LOCHRIE HOAG
BH: BETTY LOCHRIE HOAG
CG: CAMPBELL GRANT
BH: This is Betty Lochrie Hoag, on June 4, 1965, interviewing the artist Campbell Grant in Carpenteria, California. Mr. Grant was active on the Project in the Santa Barbara area. And before we talked about the work he did on it, which is why I'm here, I'd like to ask you something about your own life. Would you tell us when and where were you born, where you were educated, and so forth?
CG: Well, let's see. I was born in Berkeley, November 7, 1909 and finished high school in Oakland. And then I had a scholarship at the California School of Arts and Crafts, which is now the College of Arts and Crafts, in Oakland. And the following year I came to Santa Barbara on a scholarship at the Santa Barbara School of the Arts. And I was there in the capacity of Librarian for two years.
BH: Excuse me, Mr. Grant, was your specialty at that time painting or in one of the crafts?
CG: Well, I was vaguely heading toward illustrating, but I was doing a great deal of watercolor. That was my favorite medium and really still is. And it was just after I finished my two years at the Santa Barbara School that I joined the Federal Arts Project.
BH: Now, I know that your brother Gordon was also on the Project; there were these two artists in the same family. Are you an artistic family from way back, or how did that happen?
CG: There's a certain art tradition in the family. My . . . one of my paternal uncles was Gordon Grant, the marine painter.
BH: Hmm. Was he in California?
CG: No. He lived in New York. He was born here but he lived in New York. His younger brother, Douglas, was also quite a competent water colorist.
BH: That's interesting. You both came by it naturally, you could say. [Laughter]
CG: Whatever that means.
BH: Yes. Well, it probably means a great deal. It probably means that you had paintings around your home.
CG: Yes, and I sort of tried to emulate my uncle. He was our sort of hero when we were growing up.
BH: And so when you got out of school, of course, was the Depression. There were no jobs so you went straight into the Project.
CG: I went straight into the Project. That was the first work I did after leaving school.
BH: Now, were you on easel painting, or wasn't it specified here in Santa Barbara?
CG: I was doing a series of large watercolors and then I did a mural for the Santa Barbara High School . . .
BH: I didn't know about that.
CG: . . . which is amazingly bad, but it's still there [He laughs]
BH: What was it, an oil on canvas or what?
CG: An oil on canvas and mounted.
BH: What was the subject matter?
CG: Oh, it was sort of Indians, Spaniards and, well, all of the Santa Barbara background business.
BH: Well, I know that later we'll be going into your archeological work as of today, and that you were doing some at that time. When did that interest start? With the Indians in caves?
CG: Curiously enough, while I was in art school, I illustrated this book on the Chumash Indians of Channing Peake.
BH: Pardon Me, I can spell Chumash, but I don't know that Peak. Would you mind spelling it?
CG: P-E-A-K-E. I think he was too in the Project, Channing Peake.
BH: Aha. Oh, I thought you meant the Indians of a certain area of a mountain peak?
CG: Oh, no, no.
BH: Chumash Indians.
CG: Chumash Indians. And Channing and I illustrated the book.
BH: Oh, for goodness sake!
CG: Little did I know that, 30 years later, I would be doing serious work on the Chumash Indians and on cave paintings, exactly the same people I had done down in art school in a child's book.
BH: Was that in Berkeley?
CG: No, that was in Santa Barbara.
BH: Santa Barbara.
CG: You see, the Chumash Indians are the Santa Barbara Indians.
BH: They are? I didn't know that. That was very interesting. To get back to this mural again, what were the Indians doing in the picture?
CG: Oh, they were just a large figure of an Indian on one panel and a large figure of a Conquistador on the other. And I believe it was a Mayan Indian, if I'm not mistaken.
BH: Were they on either side of the stage or . . . ?
CG: Either side of the Entrance Hall.
BH: I wish I had known that and could have seen it before I met you today.
CG: I don't think you missed anything. [Laughs]
BH: Well, I was hunting for some other things that I thought you might have had something to do with, and couldn't find them.
CG: Well, all of the watercolors I did were scattered all over the place. They went to libraries, and high school libraries and all sorts of places. I haven't the foggiest notion where any of them are; they're all that type of the same period. I really haven't done that sort of work since.
BH: Very beautiful watercolors. At this time, I believe in Santa Barbara, there was some work done at Seric Plains, copying the cave paintings, I guess they were. They aren't really caves either, they are cliffs overhanging . . .
CG: Well . . . where at?
CG: Correso Plains.
BH: Correso. I had been told that it was done on the Project in Santa Barbara. No one seems to know about it.
CG: I would be very interested to know about it. I don't know anything about it at all. I, myself, have done extensive work on the Correso Plains, but I had no idea anything was done at that time.
BH: Well, the man who told me was Frank Stevens. He is not an artist; he was in Los Angeles. He knows about the caves. When he was a traveling salesman he used to take a shortcut through someone's fields, you know, and perhaps he has this mixed up with the work you've done in San Francisco.
CG: Well, during the Project, there were some Indian caves that were copied; I don't know where and exactly when, but I've heard about them.
BH: Well, it wasn't in any of our areas south of here, so unless you know I'm . . . .
CG: No, I once was in the Southwest . . . .
BH: Yes, they did a lot of it there, and someplace they did along in San Francisco, I understand. You did work with Paul Julian and I understood that you did murals for the Federal Buildings and nobody in Santa Barbara didn't tell me what they are; and the Post Office and all I could find was Mr. Atkinson . . . .
CG: My brother did the murals in the Federal Building and in southern Ventura.
BH: In Ventura. And then Paul Julian is supposed to have done a mural in the Armory, and I went there today and we couldn't find anyone but the custodians, and they said that they had been there for some time, and that they had never seen the work done.
CG: I don't remember anything like that.
BH: Oh, these are all old papers . . .
CG: My brother was doing a lot of work and it was similar to the one that I did and I don't recall doing any work there at all.
BH: Well, I got this information from old newspaper . . . .
CG: I'm almost certain he didn't do any murals . . . you should check with him. I think it is the best . . . .
BH: You had one picture in Los Angeles Museum and it showed WPA work in 1934, the catalog listed a mural panel of a gold mine in California. Was that your brother's painting?
CG: Oh, no, I was painting . . . I forgot all about that. [Laughter]
BH: What was it on?
CG: It was a sketch for a possible mural, but it wasn't used; it was just a cartoon really.
BH: It wasn't an entry for one of the Treasury . . . ?
CG: No. It was a scene in which a miner was working on the gold rocker and cradle. I remember that, but I haven't thought about it in 30 years.
BH: Had you done a lot of research for it or . . . ?
CG: I did at the time.
BH: But you don't remember. [TAPE, PART #1, RAN OUT HERE] TAPE-RECORDED INTERVIEW WITH CAMPBELL GRANT JUNE 4, 1965 PART II INTERVIEWER: BETTY LOCHRIE HOAG
BH: BETTY HOAG
CG: CAMPBELL GRANT
BH: This is Betty Lochrie Hoag on June the 4th, 1965 interviewing Campbell grant, Reel N. 2. Mr. Grant has gotten out a book which is Art in the Federal Building, '41, murals from 1934-36, Bruce and Watson, which is available in libraries and in it there are pictures of a mural done by his brother Gordon Grant for the Post Office in Ventura, the pages are not numbered, but very complete pictures. Are there any of your high school murals?
CG: No, these are all Federal buildings.
BH: When our last tape went off, I started to remind you of something else in that same museum catalogue of 1937 watercolors and it did not list the names of them and watercolors usually don't have very specific names anyway.
CG: All watercolors I think, done in the Mohave Desert or the High Sierra Country.
BH: Had you gone to these places because of the Indians or the landscape painting?
CG: It was strictly landscape painting; I was not really interested in the . . . .
BH: How did you first learn about the Project? Do you remember any details?
CG: No, I don't. I think probably the knowledge came through the art school; I'm pretty sure of that and then the contractor was Doug Parshall.
BH: And did you ever have any dictation of subject matter or technique in painting?
BH: And of course you did them in the field or in your home by yourself.
CG: They were all done in the field. There weren't any done in the studio.
BH: How long were you on it?
CG: Well, as I recall, I was on it about a year and a half. The fall of '34, I quit the Project and I went to work for Walt Disney in Hollywood as an animator.
BH: That must have been an interesting experience. Were you doing those in between things of moving figures?
CG: It was dreadful until I got out of that and I got into steering department.
BH: Was that an original work in the steering department?
CG: Originating, originating characters.
CG: Well, I worked on Snow White, Dumbo, Bambi, Fantasia.
CG: No, I originated many of the characters in Pinocchio, and I was there for 12 years and the war years, of course, Army and Navy training propaganda.
BH: Well, now, wait a minute. That comes in between . . . the war, before you went to Disney. The war was in '41. And you were doing these films for the Army or the Navy or both?
CG: I was working for the Army mostly with Frank Capera. And what we were dong was orientation and propaganda films, the organization of all the major campaigns which were great, great pictures and they've never been shown to the public. Terrific pictures, they're all in the War Department, all locked up.
BH: Were they educational for the troops?
CG: They were attempting to show the troops the broad picture and why they were fighting and who the enemy was and how the enemy looks and so on, but they had Lifrag and Capera and they had all top ten men working on these films.
CG: I think very likely because, during World War II, they're valuable and a great deal of captured Japanese film and captured German films, so that's what I did up to the end of the war.
BH: What film company was that?
CG: Oh, Walt Disney.
BH: Oh, excuse me, I missed the point. I thought Frank probably had his own . . . .
CG: No, we were working at what we called Fort Fox in Hollywood and we would handle all the animation sequences, we would put the picture together and we worked at Disney and we had . . . .
BH: Well, then it undoubtedly wasn't true that you did anything on the Project that helped you. I'm trying to see helped people in the life they went into afterwards. Seems unlikely, doesn't it?
CG: Well, there isn't too much connection here because I was working on easel pictures. I got into what amounted to a great deal of figure drawing and illustration and so it was really a complete switch. Many people might have gone into background painting which would have been a direct link but I did not.
BH: And what did you do after you were with Disney?
CG: Well, the last year at Disney was '46 and I worked for a year on visual education pictures.
BH: Oh, now, I just learned this afternoon after I saw Mr. Parshall, I talked to another artist who said that there was visual education section of the project here under a man named Henry Ford, who was a fine water colorist and had been active and do you know anything about him? He is not in the phone book.
CG: No, I don't know the name of that. Henry Ford?
BH: Believe it or not, that's what he said when he told me. But he said the things that he'd done are down into the Visual Education Deptartment here in Santa Barbara and they were very fine work.
CG: I just don't know of him at all. Was he here recently or years ago?
BH: Oh, this was with the Project. Well, let's get back to the other visual... Was this the L.A. School?
CG: Well, I made a series of pictures for the Mexican government on museums which were a great success because they were dealing with an illiterate people in villages where they couldn't read or write and furthermore they had no knowledge of the cause of disease so you start from scratch, and it was a difficult problem but a very interesting one.
BH: Well, this sounds like something my brother-in-law did about the same time on the Point 4 Program in India. He wrote and directed films that showed them how to work plows and how to build rows and build privies and all of this.
CG: Very basic stuff.
BH: Was yours Point 4?
CG: No. It was strictly a contract between Walt Disney and Mexico, the Department of Education.
BH: Isn't that a wonderful thing!
CG: Well, it really was. It's too bad that Disney got out of that because he quit all that kind of work in '46, only did one year. He made very interesting pictures during that time.
BH: I wonder why our government hasn't had any.
CG: Well, he's an individualist and he doesn't like to do things for other people.
BH: Oh, he doesn't.
CG: Experts come in and tell him what to put in a picture, you know, and he's quite an individualist who balks at anyone telling him what to put in his picture. Conflict of personality.
BH: He's a strange man. On one hand he's great and on another he's a human being still.
CG: He's really an extraordinary man but he's very, very human in many ways.
BH: If someone writes a book on him it will be very fascinating in so many aspects.
CG: If they put everything in, not just the complimentary things.
BH: And what did you do when that was over?
CG: Well, that was the period when the banks threatened to close up the studio and so Walt fired half the staff. It amounted to 3- or 400 people, including all of the stars. And so a great many people were out and things were a bit rough. And then I got into book illustrating. I got into it through doing a great many book adaptations of Disney pictures and then gradually got into my own work. And then my wife wrote a number of stories that I got to do.
BH: Well, that's interesting. Had she been a professional artist? Did you have children of your own at the time? Do you remember the names of any of the books? I never know whether to put the thing because the Congressional Index lists all of the books.
CG: Well, they were Golden Books. [One was called] Ukile
BH: Had you been to Hawaii?
BH: I wonder if it inspired you.
CG: And then, as I say, I did many books based on Disney films, the different stories of Pinocchio and Dumbo and then that work sort of led into different fields and I did two serious books on archaeology. Both of these dealt with the early man of the new world.
BH: Did you write the books?
CG: These were a collaboration. Man and The New World by Kenneth MacGowan.
BH: M-a-c or M-c?
CG: M-a-c. He was head of Theater Arts in UCLA for a great many years. He directed all of Eugene O'Neill's original plays.
BH: Oh, isn't that interesting.
CG: Well then in the early 50's I began to do books for Richard Armour at Scripps College.
CG: And we did a series of satires on history and literature, the most successful one was It All Started With Columbus.
BH: It All Started With Columbus?
CG: And the latest one was '64, was American Lit Relit.
BH: Sounds funny.
CG: He was a very witty guy.
BH: Well, that's last year and this year someone told me you were already ...
CG: I wrote a book on the rock art of the American Indians this year. The Rock Paintings of American Indians this year.
BH: Including all the rock drawings from the whole country? Sounds very ambitious.
CG: Including Mexico. It is ambitious.
BH: Oh, really? Heavens!
CG: I have a book coming out next month called The Rock Painting of the Chumash from University of California Press. I first became interested in painting in the Santa Barbara area during a fishing trip in the mountains in 1960, early 60's and received a grant from Santa Barbara museum to conduct a survey of these rock paintings, the survey took 2 years during which time I collected the material for this book. And in this period, between 1961-1965, I've written a great many articles of rock art in the West, especially California.
BH: You had one in Art Forum?
CG: Natural History.
BH: Natural History, yeah, that was last year. We'd been up near Bakersfield.
CG: Oh, Bakersfield. You mean the one near Fraiser Mountain?
BH: I don't remember that mountain. But you go up the highway and then go off to your left and it's a long kind of a riff of rock where the river had cut down rock. They aren't caves or anything. It's all exposed.
CG: What did they look like?
BH: Oh, various things. They looked almost like dragons and round circles.
CG: Were they quite elaborate?
BH: There were a great many of them.
CG: I wonder if you saw the Plato Canyon site.
BH: Oh I don't know. It was hot as blazes and my husband was not interested in them after about three hours of walking around.
CG: When we finish the tape I'll get a map and get you to show me.
BH: I'll show you were it was.
CG: I'm always running down ones that I find and every now and then I hit a new one.
BH: This I'm sure is well now because it's a picnic place there and some of them have been painted around so you are sure not to miss them.
CG: It was near Bakersfield?
BH: Said they thought they had originally been done by the Indians to indicate the game went that way because it can be seen from a distance.
CG: Oh, more theories, a thousand and one theories.
BH: Theories of them?
CG: The only one that really knew what they meant is the guy that painted them.
BH: We don't even know if they were religious.
CG: Well, I think mostly they're ceremonial and a great many of the animals ones I think were made for hunting magic, to feast the game or love of hunting. And the others were made for puberty rights, fertility ceremonies, and rain and all of this stuff, you know.
BH: Well, it sounds like a very, very fascinating field.
CG: It's absolutely fascinating. I got a contract to write this book on the North American deal and I've been working on it about 6 months and 2 weeks ago I got a letter from Panoff and they wanted to know if I would write the same book I was already writing. I was already doing it.
CG: I wrote them a very politic letter, so I didn't close the door for further contact.
BH: You teach also?
CG: I teach art at Cape School in [inaudable]
BH: Oh, Mr. Joe Knowles works there.
CG: Yeah, I took his job when Joe had a heart attack. Yeah, Joe and I were in art school at the same time.
BH: You don't teach there any more?
CG: Oh yes I do. Just one day a week so it doesn't really interfere with my other work.
BH: Well, this is all very fascinating and none of this leads back to the Art Project so I'll have to do it gracefully and ask you the question I always do the artists. Do you feel in general that the Project aided or retarded the progress of art in America? You feel it was beneficial, I mean besides feeding and they needed help?
CG: I think undoubtedly in many cases it gave people who had a good deal of talent a chance to carry on their work at a very difficult time, whereas otherwise they might have given up. They might have quit and not gone along in the arts at all because the economic stress was fantastic. All these people getting out of art school and starting in the art game and then suddenly the very depths of Depression. So, if it wasn't for this Project, there would have been an awful lot of fine artists practicing today, who would have been in other fields, forced into other fields. That was the main thing the Project did, as you say, besides feeding them, keeping them from want during a very tough period.
BH: Seems to me it would have been great to be able to be told to paint anything you wanted to and it was going to be sold, or used and hung someplace.
CG: Absolutely. It was a godsend. It was a very difficult period in a great many lives but most of the people were young and quite a few of them, like myself, were just getting out of art school and it sort of gave you something to lean on until you got started.
BH: I'm going to interview an artist later this week who I've know for about 15, 20 years, I guess, and you undoubtedly know him and I just learned a little while ago that he was doing watercolors here, and that is Jimmy Wright, James Couper Wright.
BH: Jimmy Wright, James Couper Wright.
CG: Oh, for heavens sakes! I haven't thought of him for years. Where is he?
BH: He's very active down in our part of the country. He's been president of the Watercolor Society of Southern California.
CG: He's very able.
BH: He's living in Pasadena. I see his paintings all the time in exhibits.
CG: He used to be around Santa Barbara but I don't think I've seen him for 12 years.
BH: Well it was about that long ago that I met him and he was in Los Angeles then and he was quite shocked when he got my letter. He said he didn't realize he was ready for the Archives. And I was surprised that there were only 24 people on the Project here. They must have all known each other.
CG: Just 24?
BH: I kept trying to get poor Mr.Parshall to tell me how it was broken up into divisions and units and I was thinking of the way our had been.
CG: It was all very informal.
BH: Must have been. Did you have a central office?
CG: No. Doug worked out of his studio and that was about it.
BH: No meetings to talk about each other's work.
CG: No, nothing I can recall along that line.
BH: What about exhibitions of your work here?
CG: I think while on the Project I had one or two exhibits, watercolor exhibits, and a number of the other fellows did too.
BH: Well, that's another good thing that came out because it acquainted the public with the work you were doing.
CG: It gave us the time and means to go out and do a lot of watercolors that could be exhibited and so on.
BH: I hope that you have some material that we can go borrow with microfilming that you saved from those days.
BH: Santa Barbara is kind of scanty; I haven't much material from here. I hope one of you . . . .
CG: Everything I did for the Project was taken by the Project.
BH: Sometimes the artists have catalogued exhibits and news write-ups and what have you.
CG: No, I don't save that kind of stuff; I collect stamps.
BH: Is there anything you can remember about the Project that would add to our picture of it, things that happened or people on it? You brother's work for instance?
CG: From my standpoint my only contact with the Project was to collect my check and turning the pictures over to Doug Parshall, period.
BH: That's pretty brief. You had no help on your mural that you did? No assistant on that? Actually it was just two panes.
CG: It wasn't necessary.
BH: Do you remember anything about the one your brother did in Ventura? He must have had help on that.
CG: Yes, he did. He had one assistant from New York
BH: Do you remember his name?
CG: I've can see him very well, he has a fuzzy beard. His name is Herman Cherry.
BH: Oh yes, he's a well-known artist in New York today. I think he lives in New Jersey.
CG: I haven't thought of Herman in ages.
BH: And I believe his wife became a very well-known artist. She remarried and took another name.
CG: Herman Cherry, I wonder if he still has a beard.
BH: You don't remember any of the details about doing that mural?
CG: No, except that the final mural was painted on rolls of canvas and painted with very thin washes of oil and a great deal of turpentine.
BH: Was this to save money on paint?
CG: This was his technique; he always paints thin.
BH: Outlines more or less. Was this something that he developed himself?
CG: Well, it's a technique and I think he admired Diego Rivera; Diego Rivera did the same thing. But painting thin made it easier to roll up and all the pieces of canvas were in danger of cracking.
BH: I wonder if he studied any of the work of Martinez? He was down here about that time.
CG: He was a great friend of Martinez; they were very close friends, a great admirer.
BH: I think he was only in California about ten years.
CG: Yes, he was terrific; he made some extremely interesting drawings on newspaper. He would take the want ad section with that nice gray color, extremely interesting drawings.
BH: Mrs. Bard showed me a book that was done here. Her husband had written one of the articles and Everett D. Jackson wrote one, several different people did color pictures for the work, they were very beautiful, including a cemetery down there but it's closed and I couldn't get into it. And I was telling her that I ran into somebody working on Coronado Island. [MISS HOAG, THE KNOCKING SOUNDS ARE VERY HARD ON THE EARS.]
BH: We stopped talking a few minutes ago and you were right in the middle of about your brother being a friend of Martinez, the Mexican artist, when he was here. Do you think that influenced your brother quite a bit?
CG: He might have been influenced a certain extent by Martinez but the most potent influence at this time I think was Diego Rivera. And the few mural panels that he did do reflected this monumental factor that Diego Rivera had.
BH: Had he seen original work of his, had he been to Mexico?
CG: No, he'd seen a good many reproductions. He'd never been to Mexico to see any originals.
BH: Excuse me, I'm losing my voice. Did he see Siqueros' work when he was here because he was in Los Angeles at the time?
CG: He saw some original Siqueros and of course he saw the great Prometheus of Orozco in Claremont. We all made a pilgrimage down to see that. It is still one of the most astonishing things.
BH: I have seen photographs of it; I haven't gotten over to see it yet.
CG: Gigantic, towering; overwhelms the room really, but it is tremendous.
BH: Is it in the inside of the building?
CG: One whole end of the dinning hall.
BH: Do you remember anything else that your brother did on the Project?
CG: No, I don't.
BH: Did he and Paul Julian do any other work together? I don't know where I got the idea that they worked as a team on things.
CG: No, they did not.
BH: Nor did you?
BH: Well, that lays that ghost. I had some people I did want to ask you about. I'm supposed to find Phylis Zakheim.
BH: Zakheim [Zakheim is correct], I think it is. She's here someplace and she isn't listed in the phone books. All I can do is keep asking people. Her husband I think was co-director of the San Francisco Project. She is an artist.
CG: I ran into her a year or two ago and she was still here; she's not in the phone book?
BH: Well, not under Zakheim or Wright; she must be remarried. I know that she's divorced. She could have a new name.
CG: Let's see, I just don't know.
BH: Mr.[inaudable] has seen her around; he doesn't run into her on the street he said, but he didn't know.
CG: I just don't know.
BH: And the next one is a real mystery. This woman, I don't know if she was on the Project, she did murals for the Museum of Natural History. Lilia Tuckerman, and it has your address.
CG: Lilia Tuckerman is right in the other room.
BH: Well, I suspected something because I checked the phone book twice.
CG: My mother-in-law.
BH: Well, for heaven's sake! Did you happen to know if she were on the Project? Having done murals for that building, I thought maybe she did more.
CG: I don't think she did. She did a mural for the Natural History Museum but I don't . . . in fact I know she didn't.
BH: Well, that's one way I can try to guess out these people; if they were here at the time or something. These people were on the Index of American Design and no one seems to know about them: Everett Fox, Harry Wadel, Barden Basil?
CG: Did they work on the Index?
BH: The Index.
CG: The Index of American Design, fantastic job, some fantastic stuff.
BH: And you didn't get into that? I'm surprised if you were a water colorist.
CG: I have never seen such fantastic photographic beautiful work.
BH: Mrs. Bard showed me some simply gorgeous ones form Southwest Project, beautiful work that were never published, they weren't accepted or something, they're loose leaf things.
CG: Well there was some rock art stuff down there I know at that time and I'd just love to know where that stuff is or what color it was.
BH: Well, the originals I think are in the Smithsonian, or all of the Index, they're supposed to be. I read that. And then copies have come out. Different libraries have copies of them. I have read that [dogs barking in background] Christie's, you now primitive art Christies had published it and I haven't checked the library to see if they have anything.
BH: I have an almost complete bibliography on rock art material and nothing like this has ever been published, so if the drawings were made they must be locked up some where.
BH: Maybe they were not included.
CG: No, they were never included in the published material.
BH: If you like I can write a researcher in that area and ask her.
CG: I think that would be marvelous. Yes, I would. But I know this was contemplated and whether it was carried out or not I don't know.
BH: Well, I'll do it because she must know all the artists in her area. There was a Helen Siegert who was a sculptor.
CG: Yeah. Well, she's around. She's married now.
BH: She is? She did the fountain out at [inaudable] Mission.
BH: The awful thing about women, they get married, divorced and married and they're lost again.
CG: I see her about every year I run into Helen somewhere, but I know she is married and I haven't the foggiest notion what her name is.
BH: Well, I'm coming back in a month to return material and if you don't mind I'll call you.
CG: I'll tell you who might know is Lydia Freeman, Don Freeman.
BH: Oh, I taped him this morning, the Lydia threw me.
CG: Lydia Freeman was in art school at the same time Helen Seager was here. And Lydia might just know what Helen's [married] name is.
BH: Well, I'll call her up and ask her because she was at the Arts Students League, too.
CG: Don, he has so much talent oozing in every pore.
BH: It was an amazing tape because it just kept opening up things I didn't know he had done.
CG: Oh, he was in New York for so long, did the theater cartoons for the New York Herald Tribune, oh, he's tremendous.
BH: Those magazines he did are just collector's items.
CG: Well I have a number of the back issues and they are terrific.
BH: Well, you're lucky. Let's see, I just have 2 more names then we'll be through. Do you know Mrs. Herbert?
CG: Oh, she died about 15 years ago.
BH: 'Cause I know Albert Herbert did. And there was some artist gave me the name of Alex Techesky and someone said they thought he was in Ojah.
CG: The name rings a bell, but I don't know.
BH: I don't know. It was one of those things I wrote down the name and then forgotten. Well, I think I've covered all the questions I had and I appreciate your answering them.
CG: Well sure I haven't given you any information of possible use [laughter].
BH: Well, it's been very interesting and all of these things put together come up with a picture bigger than the picture.
CG: Yes [laughter].
BH: Thank you so much, Mr. Grant.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Campbell Grant, 1965 June 4, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.